Electricity—How to Stay Safe
Because electricity is such a normal part of everyday life, it’s easy to forget how deadly it can be.
In the United States, high-voltage electrical injuries cause 1,500 burn unit admissions and 400 deaths, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Children are a high-risk group, accounting for about one in five shock injuries.
With a bit of diligence, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the risks that electricity poses. Remember: always hire a reputable and qualified electrician to work on your home. Without the proper training and experience, working with electrical wiring is extremely risky.
Tips for Indoor Safety
- Don’t rely on extension cords in place of outlets. They should never extend through doors or under carpets. If an area in your home needs more access to power, have a new outlet installed.
- Large appliances like washing machines and refrigerators need a lot of electricity. Don’t plug more than one into an outlet. This can cause an energy overload.
- Always throw away and replace cords with holes or tears. Touching an exposed wire can shock you. Additionally, it poses a fire risk.
- Keep children away from electrical outlets. Your home should have tamper-resistant receptacles (TRRS), which block foreign objects from entering the outlet. Since 2008, TRRS switches are mandated by the National Electric Code. If your home hasn’t been updated, it’s time to make the switch.
- Circuit interrupters significantly reduce the risk of electrical fires. You should have GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupters) and AFCIs (arc-fault circuit interrupters) installed where needed.
Tips for Outdoor Safety
- Check the label! Make sure the tools and extension cords you work with outside are approved for outdoor use.
- Schedule professional tree trimming every few years to keep your lines safe. You should also have any dead trees cut down as soon as possible.
- Store power tools out of young children’s reach. Keep them in a dry place and never leave them outside when you’re not using them.
- Just like indoors, always dispose of fraying cords immediately.
- Clean any dust and debris off of your electric meter. You should also trim back any shrubbery that grows too close.
What to Do When a Power Line Falls Near Your Home:
1. Always treat a line like it’s on.
2. Stay at least 10 feet away.
3. Contact your electric company immediately.
What to Do When a Power Line Falls on Your Car:
1. Stay inside your vehicle, even if your engine fails. Exiting could result in deadly electrocution.
2. Instruct others not to touch your car. Have them keep at least 10 feet of distance.
3. Call 9-1-1 right away.
Have more questions? Call HomeOps today at 631.509.2000. Our team of dedicated experts is ready to assist, whether you need a quick tune-up or a complex electrical project performed. Located conveniently in Islip, NY, we’re there when you need us. Reach us by phone or request service online.